The sheep sized Protocerotops

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Protoceratops was one of the smaller known dinosaurs, and a favourite prey of the velociraptor. This means that, like velociraptor, it was present in the Cretaceous period in Earth’s history.

Protoceratops was likely one of the first frilled dinosaurs, a member of the same group as the famous Triceratops. It was much smaller than Triceratops – about the size of a sheep.

We know that they were preyed upon by velociraptors, as one of the most famous fossils found is that of a Protoceratops and a velociraptor engaged in a fierce battle. The fossil suggests both were killed simultaneously, perhaps by the collapse of a sand dune on top of them.

The fossil evidence for Protoceratops is excellent, as there have been hundreds of fossils found in close proximity to the edges of lakes and rivers. These fossil areas also include all stages of life of the Protoceratops, from eggs in the nest, through to hatchlings, adolescents and adults. This has enabled paleontologists to build an excellent picture of the growth and development of the Protoceratops.

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